UEFA Issue Farcical Statement After Only Giving Chelsea And Arsenal Fans 6,000 Tickets Each
UEFA have issued a statement after receiving huge backlash for the small allocation of tickets given to Chelsea and Arsenal supporters for the Europa League final at the end of the month.
The two London clubs will do battle in Baku on May 29 at the Olympic Stadium, which has a capacity of 68,700.
And yet despite this, a mere 6,000 tickets have been given to Chelsea and Arsenal supporters - basically the amount you get in an FA Cup or League Cup away end.
It continues UEFA's record of treating proper match-going football fans like they are secondary but the organisation have defended their ticketing policy, deeming it to be "responsible" given the logistics.
"Based on UEFA's recent experience with UEFA Europa League finals and the UEFA Super Cup in comparable venues the number of finalists' supporters requesting tickets for a UEFA Europa League final can vary greatly from club to club," a statement from UEFA said.
"Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final while the venue has to be chosen around two years in advance.
"Taking into consideration the above and most importantly the geographical location and logistical capacity of airports in and around the host city, it was deemed that around 15,000 spectators would be able to travel from abroad, with Baku as the main hub.
"Offering more tickets to fans of the participating teams, without any guarantee that they would be able to arrange suitable travel to reach Baku, was therefore not a responsible option.
"Based on these circumstances, for this year's UEFA Europa League final in Baku, 6,000 tickets have been made available to each of the finalists."
All in all, having picked the venue two years ago, UEFA have discovered that Baku is not a suitable city to house thousands of supporters and now fans are suffering as a result.
Arsenal have expressed their disappointment at the situation but the reality is that spectators at the final will largely be sponsors and dignitaries and you just know the atmosphere won't be the same.